Action Figures & Their Beers Boozes - Rum Boogie

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2017-11-17, 10:47:20

GUATEMALAN RUMS

Fair warning: this is the penultimate review in this run of Action Figures & Their Alcoholic Beverages, so I’m determined to go out in a blaze of glory at the end. I’ve been saving up some of the best stuff for last. Take a deep breath. Here we go . . . !

Coming from what is essentially pirate country (No, not Pittsburgh. Wessex.), I like a bit of rum. And for my money, you’d be extremely hard-pressed (press-ganged?) to find better than the stuff that comes out of Guatemala. Besides pairing these up with my own action figure avatar, I’ve put in a Yavin IV Rebel Base Technician, because the Yavin IV base was originally filmed at Tikal, Guatemala.

Quality-wise, in the picture below, we go from worst to best, left to right:

AF&TB Guatemalan rums with Yavin IV Rebel Technician and a very soused Beedo Sookcool

Ron Añejo Botran Reserva Blanca, on the left, tastes just like standard Bacardi, but more expensive. I am not Bacardi’s biggest fan, and only ever bought any years ago because it was comparatively cheap, there weren’t all these lovely rums you can find in the shops or online nowadays, and I could mix cocktails well enough to cover the taste. So why pay more for the same less-than-amazing taste? This was my first and last bottle of Botran.

Gran Reserva Guatemalan Plantation Rum is distilled in the state of Retalhuleu (where I stayed for most of my trip, and spelt “Ratalhuleu” on the label for some reason), then shipped to the Château de Bonbonnet in France for further aging in sherry and brandy barrels. It comes out with a very mild spiced honey note to the flavour, and is much smoother than any spiced rum I have ever drunk. (It’s not actually a spiced rum, though.) It’s a lovely dark golden teak colour when there’s any in the bottle, but as you can see, I drank it all because it’s delicious. And about five other bottles of it in the last year, as well. So, of course, Marks & Spencer stopped carrying it and replaced it with the Botran. Dammit.

Finally, we have the Ron Zacapa Centenario XO, another medium-dark rum, when there’s any to be seen. This one, I savoured, and made last for a couple of years. Hells, I paid about a hundred bucks for it off Amazon.co.uk (including shipping), so damn right I’m not going to chug it! This is very special stuff. It’s the first Guatemalan rum I ever tried, back in 1992, and didn’t have again until 2014. It’s also listed as one of the World Luxury Association’s Top 10 Liquor Brands. On the whole planet. I can wholeheartedly get behind that decision. Ron Zacapa is like drinking alcoholic liquid silk. Smooth, rich, mellow, potent, and satisfying. The only thing – the only thing – I would ever consider mixing it with is some prime Guatemalan cocoa. Anything else would be sacrilege, as far as I’m concerned. But it mixes very well with everything that “normal” rum mixes with – even moreso, in fact. It is, quite simply, the best rum in the world, and worth every penny.

Drink these if you also like: Botran: Bacardi. Gran Reserva Plantation Rum: Extremely good dark / golden unspiced rums in general. Ron Zacapa Centenario XO: Unbridled excellence, the best rum in the world, seeing what those ultra-rich bastards are hogging for themselves.

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BONUS CONTENT!

I popped into Marks & Spencer again recently for some ready-meals, and visited the booze section on the off-chance they might have anything new in. And they did!

AF&TB More Guatemalan rum and an incredibly blotto Beedo Sookcool

Plantation Rum Guatemala & Belize Grand Cru Gran Añejo, according to the blurb on the back of the frankly gorgeous deep metallic blue, copper, and gold presentation box, is double-aged in white oak bourbon casks in Guatemala and Belize, then shipped to Château de Bonbonnet (Hey, just like that other one up there!), where it is further matured in Ferrand oak casks. (From the notes of Alexandre Gabriel, apparently voted World’s Best Cellar Master, London 2012.

It’s not just the name that’s a heck of a mouthful, either. At 42% ABV, it’s the strongest of the four Guatemalan rums in this article by 2%, and runs about $28 / $36 per bottle. On the front end, it’s smoother and a smidge spicier than the Gran Reserva Guatemalan Plantation Rum mentioned above, with slightly more of a whiskey sting at the finish. If it weren’t for that afterburn, it could easily rank up with anything from Zacapa, but it falls juuuuuuuuuust shy of that. Certainly the third-best rum I’ve ever had. And that is not a condemnation, by any means. It’s glorious, all right, and well worth the expenditure. If you can’t spring for a bottle of Zacapa, this stuff – at a third of the price – is only marginally less outstanding by the merest fraction.

Drink this if you also like: Very mellow, excellent, golden and/or spiced rums.

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NOT PICTURED: Ron Zacapa Solero 23. Had a few shots of this last night during my staff leaving do at the very enjoyable Las Iguanas. Smooth as satin, rich, warming, delicious, and with a hint of vanilla. Woke up feeling like a rhino had rolled over on me during the night. Worth it, though! One of the Top Three Rums Of All Time, as far as I'm concerned. Apparently, it garnered a platinum medal and ranked in First Place by The Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, with a score of 97 points. As Cybertronian Chief Justice Tyrest would say, "Fully Deserved." Could possibly beat out the Centenario XO as best rum ever. But it's all a matter of personal preference.

Drink this if you also like: Unbridled excellence, the best rum in the world, seeing what those ultra-rich bastards are hogging for themselves. With a hint of vanilla.

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NEXT TIME: THE END!





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